This year there has a been a twist in the Pro’s and Internet Radio Broadcasters story. The once Reliable and Affordable Licensing company named Stream Licensing stopped paying ASCAP and there has been talk of them not reporting info to other PROs such as B.M.I.and Sound exchange. They claim the ASCAP issue is due to overpayment and they stopped paying them due to such, to me this is irresponsible and is a disservice to the clients they represent. They are Doing some nice dodging and weaving through emails promising things that are not realistic such as buying a radio station which they owned for some time prior and that is not licensed and talking about ownership options etc.
I have read a post stating a former SL client filing complaints to the Law officials in Florida and some complaints possibly going to the FCC as well about the situation. Do I think Streamlicensing.com part of Stardom Media is being fraudulent? I can not tell you since there is always more to the story than you can find. But I do find it quite unethical to not pay the ASCAP fees and not let us know when they began doing so, they waited almost 6 to 8 months before notifying us and it was mainly due to ASCAP sending out emails.
Ok That said at the moment I would suggest avoiding SL until they get their records and licensing in order. This only leaves most of us hobbyists with a few options, paying ascap directly and forking out 200+ dollars.(outside of my budget) Moving to live365.com and be very restricted far as how you can listen to the music (all web based no direct link for Media Players etc.) and pay about the same amount and have to go with their broadcast servers, Radionomy which is a pain to keep going and you must meet quotas to keep the station up along with they are only web based or app. based in the USA. Then the next to last option of playing only Creative Commons Music, which I love but it limits what listener base you will receive.
The only 2 options left are Closing down the Station or go through the painstaking process of contacting each record company, artists etc. to get a waiver to play their music. Their may be many artists who would sign waivers to keep their exposure up via the internet streaming since mainstream radio stations don’t play them often since they are not the popular bands or of the popular genres.
The thing is I went legal out of my desire to not only be legit but to support those artists, songwriters etc. they do deserve money for their works, but the amount that we must pay in internet streaming is quite high, and since advertisers are not too willing to support internet streams unless they are owned by some big media corp. etc. it makes it hard to even make any revenue to offset the cost of playing the music we all love.
I think one thing that really makes me mad is how many PRO’s there is and how complicated it is to get covered and to be legal, you would think that they would get together and form a one stop shop for licensing and make it affordable and a monthly payment. They would have more on board being legal for one thing and they wouldn’t have issues like they are at the moment with such places like Stream Licensing.
Now I Call out for Artists, Songwriters, Composers and Record companies to get into the game and try to find a solution that can help the broadcasters within the new media category become the new way to get artists exposure and raise capitol along with making it an affordable venture for the small broadcasters. There must be some way all the PRO’s and those associated with the Music industry can work together and find a way to make it good for all of us involved.
I really Hope Stream Licensing gets their act together and do what is right by their clients, after this month I may just move on to live365, play Creative Commons Licensed music or Even kill the station . Sad But its a Fact of life when your just a guppy in a ocean of sharks and whales I guess.
Feel free to leave comments on the Stream Licensing situation as well as the options out there for the little guppy broadcasters 😀